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Can DragonFlyBSD's HAMMER Compete With Btrfs, ZFS?

Michael Larabel

Published on 7 January 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 3 of 3 - 29 Comments

The time it took to unpack the Linux kernel source code package atop a HAMMER file-system was nearly 70% less than the time to extract it when using DragonFlyBSD. HAMMER was also faster than UFS on PC-BSD, but it fell just short of ZFS on PC-BSD. The EXT3 / EXT4 / Btrfs results from Linux were also close to the HAMMER and ZFS times with this simple but common operation.

When looking at the multi-threaded write performance with the Threaded I/O Tester where four threads of 64MB continuous writes were carried out, HAMMER came behind UFS on DragonFlyBSD. To much surprise, however, UFS on DragonFlyBSD even beat out UFS and ZFS under PC-BSD by a wide margin. UFS on DragonFlyBSD was even slightly faster than EXT4 and Btrfs on Linux! The HAMMER performance ended up being right between the EXT3 and EXT4 performance levels on Linux.

Lastly, when looking at four threads of 64MB random writes, the UFS file-systems had collapsed performance-wise while the HAMMER file-system ended up being nearly three times faster than its predecessor. The ZFS file-system though was by far the fastest. ZFS on PC-BSD had even outperformed Btrfs, which was the fastest Linux file-system for this random write tests.

While we are not centered around the BSD operating systems, HAMMER does appear to be a very interesting BSD file-system. It is though not quite as fast as the ZFS file-system on BSD, but this is also an original file-system to the DragonFlyBSD project rather than being a port from OpenSolaris. Not only is HAMMER generally faster than the common UFS file-system, but it also has a much greater feature-set. Worth checking out are also our ZFS Linux benchmarks, CAM-based BSD ATA benchmarks, ZFS / EXT4/ Btrfs on a solid-state drive, and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD benchmarks.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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